Sustainable Engineering Cognitive Outcomes: Examining Different Approaches for Curriculum Integration

Kevin Ketchman, Claire L A Dancz, Rebekah D. Burke, Kristen Parrish, Amy E. Landis, Melissa M. Bilec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


As continued globalization of the world's economic, environmental, and societal interactions strains the planet to meet anthropogenic demands, universities are striving to integrate sustainability education into engineering curricula intended to prepare students for global challenges facing today's engineers. Concurrently, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) has potential changes related to outcomes related to sustainability. Current practice is to evaluate many student educational outcomes, including those in sustainability, at the end of collegiate careers, primarily through the senior design course. This study compares results from the application of a comprehensive holistic sustainability rubric assessment tool to three years of student projects in two stand-alone sustainable engineering courses and two senior design courses, intended to assess dissimilarities in student outcomes and locate causality, in the context of sustainability. The authors present two potential factors contributing to discrepancies in student outcomes: (1) rubrics do not contain clear elements of sustainability; and (2) senior design course syllabuses are full, and offer strategic approaches to overcoming these barriers institutionally and nationally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04017002
JournalJournal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management


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